Ministry: Eateries can stay open for deliveries and takeaways only

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 17 Mar 2020

PUTRAJAYA: Eateries, food stalls and restaurants can stay open but only to cater for takeaways and deliveries, says Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi.

He said that the government's decision to impose the Movement Control order was to allow social distancing among the people.

"The actual instruction is for us to minimise the congregation of people in one area, so it is supposed to close. We are trying to avoid a lot of people meeting in one area.

"If restaurants open for many to come, we do not allow, but if it is for takeaway, that is all right.

"That will make it easier for people to access food.

"If they can deliver to houses, we encourage it. But to open their stores, it will defeat the whole purpose," he told reporters after the opening ceremony of Tealive outlet at the ministry's headquarters here on Tuesday (March 17).

The government has decided to enact the Controlled Movement order, starting March 18 until March 31, throughout the country.

“This order is being issued under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967, ” said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during a special broadcast on Monday night (March 16).

The measure will restrict movement and congregation at religious, sport, social and cultural events.

While public and business premises will be closed, Muhyiddin said supermarkets, sundry shops and other shops which sell daily essentials would remain open.

Nanta also saod the government had no plans to impose a restriction limit on essential items as shoppers continued to empty supermarket shelves across the country.

He said that there are enough essential items for everyone if people stopped panic buying or overstocking.

"At the moment, not yet. As we get along, if we deem it necessary, we will take appropriate measure," he added.

Shoppers have swamped supermarket after the government imposed the Movement Control order.

Nanta also said enforcement officers had been told to monitor prices of essential items during this period.

"We have some 2,500 officers on standby and at the moment we do not need any special additional back up," he added.

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